San Francisco food may be the only thing I love more than Seattle food… and especially because the distance makes my heart (and likely waist) grow fonder.. Every trip to SF is like a trip home to a few of the eateries that I like to make sure I visit each time.
So, in an effort to share my favorites, I present to you a few of the places that I love. This is by no means a complete list, but it is a tasty list… Please don’t lick the screen.
1. Blue Bottle Coffee: It’s likely you’ve heard of this place, if you like coffee. It’s fairly well known in Oakland (where it started), San Francisco and Brooklyn, as well. They’re serious about their coffee, and about roasting coffee so that patrons actually get to enjoy the intricate flavors the bean holds. They also happen to have the best toast I’ve ever had. I don’t even LIKE toast usually. But this… perfection. Crunchy where it should be, with a light almost sourdough center. And whipped butter. And raspberry jam. I actually brought back a loaf of bread from Acme Bread Co. because I liked it so much.
2. Maize-wich sandwich from Pica Pica. I know, this thing looks a bit odd. It should. The “buns” of the sandwich are made from corn, almost as if you’d turned polenta into a bread. But, unlike polenta, the corn patties maintain that fresh summer corn sweetness to them. They held up perfectly to my pulled pork filling, not falling apart with soaked up sauces. And the yucca fries were… interesting, kind of like sweet potato friens, but not like them at all. They also have green plaintain fries as well.
3. Crawfish Beignets from Brenda’s French Soul Food. Seriously, this is my favorite place in all of San Francisco. And this, is my favorite dish. I’ve never had a bad experience here. If it’s your first time here, I recommend the beignet flight, it gives you one of each flavor (plain, crawfish, chocolate and apple), then you can decide which is *your* favorite. The shrimp and grits are also a knockout choice, with a tomato-bacon “gravy” that you want to put on EVERYTHING.
Be forewarned, if you go on a weekend, you WILL have to wait, probably around 45 minutes, outside, in the Tenderloin District. It’s good for you, builds character and makes sure you’re deserving of the deliciousness contained within Brenda’s kitchen.
4. Caprese Salad, from the Top of the Mark. Know what makes caprese salad taste even better? A 360 degree view of San Francisco at sunset and a list of 100 martinis. Seriously. This, is dinner and a show. Sometimes it’s the lounge piano player, and the adorable couple who can’t be younger than 80, dancing to the tunes. Sometimes it’s people watching with the first dates and business deals going on around you. Most often, it’s watching the sun slip behind the skyline and under the bay; as the Golden Gate bridge and Transamerica Pyramid shine as glowing bookends of the cityscape.
5. Ice Cream from Humphry Slocombe. No list is complete without dessert, and this place came to me under the recommendation of my foodie-brethren, the NVR Guys. Located out in the Mission District, apparently the niche-hood for ice cream (see also: Bi-Rite) this place was a welcome treat. With awesomely wacky flavours like Secret Breakfast (bourbon and cereal) and Jesus Juice sorbet (wine and cola), that are executed perfectly, they taste just like they should without beating you over the head with their “uniqueness”. I had the Blueberry Something Something and Harvey Milk & Honey, which was admittedly more ice cream than this lactose intolerant girl should consume, but totally worth it.
Looking back over my food photos, I’m already planning a Part Deux… But what are your favorite places to enjoy a meal in San Francisco?